Jess' Peanut Butter Brownies

My dad and his whole family are American. He is, in fact, the only one still out here in New Zealand. So, with all that American blood flowing through our veins, it's not really a big surprise that we all love peanut butter. And chocolate. Together. Match made in heaven! I think I'd even go as far as to say that I personally could happily survive on peanut butter chocolate baked goods for the rest of my life. (Too bad I'd end up so big you'd have to roll me everywhere! :() When I saw this recipe on one of the earlier seasons of New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker, I knew that my family would love it. And everyone does! There's something about a brownie that always turns out right and when mixed with peanut butter, well. It's perfect. So for some reason I took some of this brownie into school once, probably for a shared lunch or something. And my friend Jess also fell in love with it, just like my family. Now she's up in Auckland, doing some hard out optometry degree and so I thought she might appreciate a care package from Wellington in the form of chocolate peanut butter brownies. Enjoy Jess!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

225g butter
200g chocolate bits
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1t vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Crunchy or smooth peanut butter, melted (the amount depends on how peanut buttery you are feeling... I'd recommend between half a cup and 1 cup with half going into the mixture and half going on top.)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. (I generally do about 2 minutes, but it depends on your microwave. The butter should be all or just about all melted. Then mix until smooth. Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla and stir. Then stir in the sifted flour and cocoa and add half of the melted peanut butter. (When you're melting the peanut butter, make sure that you don't leave it in the microwave too long otherwise it burns and goes weird. I know because I did it once.) Pour into a reasonably sized lined and greased tray. Using the rest of the peanut butter, drop big blobs all over the brownie, trying to get to the edges as well as the middle and then swirl it all around with a toothpick or the handle of a spoon. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!

Jess went a little crazy with the photos but I thought they were all pretty cool, so here are some satisfied customer photos!

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